22 February 2010

Aerial Unwind — Times Two

Mill Creek Earflap HatI was within two rows of the knitted rib of my second Ravellenic sock Friday night when I realized I'd made a booboo. I had to unravel all but eight rows. (Can you hear me wail?) This yarn is SO difficult to work with and almost impossible to unravel. I tried to humor myself by imagining buying another skein of yarn just so I wouldn't have to fight the stupid knots anymore!

tangled mess, but look at those curls!It took two hours to unravel this thing!

I was so discouraged. I thought this would mean the end of two of the Ravellenic projects I'd hoped to complete this week. I thought I was doomed to finishing just the sock, nothing else, and with yarn I'm beginning to fondly hate.

So I got online to look at some of the projects my fellow Ravelers are doing. What could be better for a sour mood than cheering on fellow Ravelathletes? I discovered an awesome event called Aerial Unwind. You unravel something that's been around way too long, and use the yarn for something useful.

Yes, I'd just spent a good portion of time unraveling, and I wasn't looking forward to another session anytime soon. But the first thing that came to my mind was a project I began for the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics. Way before Ravelry existed.

sweater inspirationI was so infatuated with the Salt Lake logos (snowflakes, of course), I wanted to design a sweater based on the jackets issued to the volunteers. (I have the coat, but I did not volunteer, unfortunately.) I picked out the perfect yarn. I cast on. I knit during my public transportation commutes every day I could. But I did not finish.

A series of tragic events led me to stash the project in the deepest, darkest recesses of my storage bins. The painful memories I associated with this sweater were more than I could bear. I didn't ever want to see the sweater again.

After learning about the Aerial Unwind, I decided it's high time I make use of that yarn. I went to the basement and dug it out.

owieThen another dilemma erupted. I remembered working on the front and back of the sweater. I did not remember actually finishing both sleeve. This sweater was about two hours from being complete. If I could just stomach working on it that long.

Could I really unravel it?

It took me a few minutes of staring at it, alone, in the dimly lit basement, to realize the memories were all still there, and they were not something I wanted to revisit. I'm happy now. I'm alive. And I want it to stay that way.

So the unraveling began. Funny, it took as long to unravel and wind the mess into balls as it would have taken to finish the shoulders and neckline. But I would not have been able to wear the sweater, as cute as the design would have been.

Aerial UnwindAfter photographing the evidence of my unwinding, I searched the internet for a flaphat pattern. I couldn't find anything even close to what I could see in my head. So while it snowed Sunday morning, I picked up a crochet hook and just started stitching, trying out the cap on my own head as I went to make sure it would fit.

I went to choir practice. I went to church. And then I came home and finished the hat. My dear, sweet Lizard held the yarn for me as I braided. Initially I thought I'd embellish the earflaps with snowflakes (made of the white yarn, of course), but after I finished attaching the braids, I decided this hat doesn't need anything more. It's perfect just the way it is.

I have enough yarn left to make at least four more hats. I hope to make another one in the reverse color pattern. I also hope to knit one. But not until after the Ravellenics. I've got more stuff on the back burner. Including that stubborn sock...Ta da!

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